Within and Without by Deborah Maroulis Blog Tour!

Within and Without by Deborah Maroulis
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Lakewater Press

Some people go to great lengths to fit in. But how far is too far?
After her parent’s divorce, sixteen-year-old Wren Newmann is forced to move from a small California town to her grandmother’s vineyard, where she’s convinced she’ll die a shriveled, wine-country virgin. Her dad’s gone AWOL, her mom’s hooking up with anything in pants, and her best friend has found the love of her life. Apart from the annoying but cute Greek farmhand Panayis, who doesn’t appear to notice her awkwardness or thunder thighs, Wren’s life has hit an all-time low.
That is until her own dating life improves unexpectedly when Jay, Wren’s long-time country crush, notices her. Yet it’s as if people don’t want her to be happy, with their warnings and advice that perhaps Jay isn’t the right guy for her. But they don’t know, and Wren’s done being Beached Whale Girl. She’s determined to become social, skinny, and sexy, because Jay wants her—every part of her.
Though her anxiety and secret purging sessions sing another warning that she finds hard to ignore. And when a series of personal tragedies strikes, Wren’s life is flipped upside down and she’s left to pick up the pieces of her broken relationships. Now, she must find the inner strength to decide if the illusion of being loved is worth sacrificing her health, and maybe even her life.
Described as “unflinching and authentic,” WITHIN AND WITHOUT is a stunning debut that touches on a teenage girl’s emotionally haunting journey to self acceptance “that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.”
Unflinching, authentic, and the perfect mixture of bold and sweet, WITHIN AND WITHOUT is a story readers will lose themselves in more than once. A debut both heartwarming and heartbreaking from an exciting new voice in YA literature.”
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts and Last Girl Lied To
 “A moving portrait of first love, friendship, and the pressures we put upon ourselves daily.
Maroulis tackles the delicate subject of eating disorders with a realistic pen, all while maintaining a humorous and hopeful tone. WITHIN AND WITHOUT will stay with you long after you turn the last page.”
Samantha Joyce, author of Flirting with Fame
 “A heartfelt and moving story of friendship, first love, and finding yourself. Maroulis isn’t afraid to tackle tough topics to show that finding love requires learning to love yourself.”
Kelly deVos, author of Fat Girl on a Plane
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About the Author
Born and raised in a small town in Northern California, Deborah Maroulis is lucky enough to surround herself with the things and people she loves. She teaches English and mythology at her local community college, studies myth and depth psychology in her Ph.D. program, and writes contemporary Young Adult novels. She lives in a slightly bigger town than the one she grew up in with her husband, newly-adult children, and her daughter’s very spoiled, semi-retired service dog.You can find her on Twitter as @yaddathree or through her website, deborahmaroulis.com.
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What inspired you to write your first book? 
The initial inspiration for the story came from my daughter and her childhood best friend. With very little warning, her friend moved far away leaving my daughter feeling lost. I wondered what would happen to a girl who was comfortable living in her bff’s shadow when it was no longer there. Then Wren and Robin were born.

How did you come up with the title? 
In the story, Wren has to read The Great Gatsby for English. There are a few parallels in the story to the characters in Fitzgerald’s, and the title is a quote!

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 
Hmm, well I don’t advertise it too widely, but my own story is similar to Wren’s. I’m not comfortable adopting the #ownvoices claim, but I struggled in my late teens and early 20s with an eating disorder. That unhealthy relationship with food definitely affected my self-esteem and the choices I made at that time. One of the reasons I wrote this book is so teens who suffer from similar issues can see themselves and, hopefully, a way out.

What are your current projects? 
I have a book about to go on submission about a boy who has the perfect girlfriend, and they’ve devised the perfect life plan to take care of his sister who has epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. It’s just he can’t stop thinking about the imperfect girl with no life plan whatsoever.

Do you see writing as a career? 
Oh, I hope so! This last year has been a creative one for me, and I have lots of ideas!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
Of course! I don’t think any author ever feels their work is finished. Every time I read through something, I find things to tweak.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 
The hardest part of writing WITHIN AND WITHOUT was accessing the painful parts of my own life. Like Wren, I struggled with low self-esteem and an eating disorder, and remembering those things took me to a dark place. 

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 
One of the best things to come out of writing this book for me was to see how far I’ve come since my own teen years and how much is possible. It’s my hope that readers will feel the same hope if they’re in similar situations as Wren.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Don’t give up! Writing is a difficult, isolating endeavor, and getting the words just right is soooo hard. Listen to generalized feedback—the kind you’re getting from more than one source—and let the other stuff go. Oh, and read everything. Reading in your genre is great, but I find so many cool craft ideas outside of YA contemporary that I like trying in my own work. Above all, try and remember why you write, and have fun.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

Do you write an outline before every book you write? 
I am a hard-core plotter. I write detailed character descriptions and back stories then outline the entire story before I begin drafting. I use a weird combination of Story Genius, Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, and my own sticky note and white board system to create my stories. It’s a lot of work, but revisions are way less work!

Have you ever hated something you wrote? 
Hahaha, yes. I have about 30,000 words of a story John Hughes would love. Bleh.


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